Community outreach is an important aspect of Being Accomplished at Selfless Tasks And Righteous Deeds to promote the positivity of humanity. In this season of Pride, we share a few organizations that advocate and support LGBTQ youth through a variety of initiatives – be it legal, educational, or family and individual based support.
Written by Joselito Corpus
Family Equality is an action-based group that influences civil rights legislation on the local, state and federal levels. They follow legislation that directly affects the LGBTQ community such as gay parent adoption, transgender rights, and non-discrimination protection at school and in the workplace. It also contains a wealth of information on hot button topics and ways to advocate, disagree, and be heard.
Founded in 1972, PFLAG is one of the longest-running organization of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Jeanne Mumford, mother of an gay activist son, began the movement by marching in the Gay Pride Parade on June 25, 1972 carrying a hand-lettered sign that read “Parents of Gays Unite in Support for Our Children.” From that moment, PFLAG has been working to create a world where diversity is celebrated, and all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, are valued, affirmed and respected.
Human Rights Campaign is the largest worldwide organization that supports the legal rights of the LGBTQ. Over 1.5 million persons strong, they fight to ensure basic LGBTQ human rights by creating safe, open and honest environments, free of violence and discrimination.
“The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.”
The United Nations has been an advocate for acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ community, and this initiative called United Nation’s Global Campaign Against Homophobia and Transphobia seeks to end all violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ community worldwide.
Most especially, the rights of transgender people especially are sadly lacking; and so, denied legal recognition of gender identity, unnecessary medical surgeries for intersex children, lack of legal protections and hostile public attitude are more common than rare.
The UN created the UN Free & Equal campaign that raises awareness of the rights of LGBTQ people in hopes to end the misinformation and promote the fair treatment of all gender expressions and sexual identities. UN Free & Equal to date has successfully reached 2 billion people across the globe.
Trans Youth Equality Foundation or TYEF was founded by a mother of a transgender child, who through her journey, discovered that there was a lack of high quality resources and support for youth and their families. TYEF produces a podcast called TransWaves where trans youth, educators, activists, supporters and advocates can bring voice of trans youth to a greater and wider audience.
TYEF also operates a very popular summer youth camp that offers financial-need based scholarships. They also provide a library of educational material on their site for educators, healthcare professionals and all other persons who work to support the growth and development of transgender children.
A very special initiative that seeks to protect trans youth and promote dignity, fairness and respect in juvenile delinquency facilities. Much of this site is devoted to resources: fact sheets, engagement strategies, training documents and white papers. Also listed are allied organizations who have created policies that protect trans youth in local communities and across the nation.
One of the missions of the Equity Project is to examine issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression that impact youth during the entire delinquency process, ranging from arrest through post-disposition.
TransYouth Family Allies, much like PFLAG, is an organization that focuses on creating safe environments for trans youth, free of violence and social stigma. They build new communities educating and supporting teachers, families and caregivers to understand the special needs of transyouth.
Among the resources is a particular item called a “Safe Folder.” This is an assemblage of all history and facts regarding a child’s gender identity and a portrait of one’s family. The folder also acts as a resource for those who are supporting trans youth by providing educational materials to make aware how gender identity is developed and how it can differ from assigned birth sex.
Safe Schools Coalition based in Washington has made remarkable strides as a grass roots organization to provide safe environments for learning for LGBTQ youth. This site is a great starting point for those seeking to create safe, supportive school environments for all LGBTQ students. Safe School has been working with ally organizations nationwide to promote its mission; a listing of similar initiatives is available on the site.
Campus Pride is a nationwide network that connects campuses across the US to create a safer and more inclusive environment for LGBTQ students and their allies. Driven solely by students but supported by alumni, family and educators, Campus Pride helps develop leadership skills, educational strategies, community-building and advocacy. Students are encouraged to participate, organize and volunteer to help bring awareness of LGBTQ issues and to affect positive change.
Lambda Legal or Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund is one of the first civil rights organization that advocates for the LGBTQ community. They work through litigation, public policy and education to drive awareness of issues that have greatly affected LGBTQ community throughout its history from sodomy laws, the age of AIDS and to the legal status of same-sex marriage.
Currently Lambda has a drive for trans youth who have been excluded from their communities because of their trans status. Many youths experience denied equal access to bathrooms, locker rooms and other areas. Or their chosen pronouns are not taken seriously by educators or staff. Or, possibly you are being physically violated because of who you are, access Lambda Legal’s Trans Student Rights Watch.